Your yard should be the greatest play station on earth. Are these six myths keeping you from making the most of it?
Before you replace your lawn with rock because you are frustrated by disease, insects and other issues, you might want to check out these easier solutions.
Your children are spending hours playing video games. You’d like to encourage them to get some exercise outside but your back yard is more weeds and bare spots than lawn. Maybe you even talked with a grass expert at the last home show about which type of sod you should buy, but walked away more confused than ever. Plus, lately you’ve heard that maybe lawns aren’t so good for the environment anyway. So is it time to replace it all with plastic turf and say, “The heck with having a nice lawn!”?
Not so fast. “It’s actually easier than ever to have a great-looking lawn. Plus, there are a lot of good reasons for doing so,” says lawn and garden expert Michael Pope, who is out to dispel some of the typical myths that he hears about lawns and lawn care.
Myth 1: “Our family’s yard has little to do with our health and wellbeing.”
Reality: “Research shows that kids are spending as much as eight hours a day in front of an electronic screen, versus only 45 minutes engaging in unstructured play,” says Pope. “Having a healthy lawn provides space and incentives for the family to be more active. This can include everything from BBQs to playing tag and camping out. It’s a way to lure kids off their computers and into the sunshine.” He adds that a 50 x 50-foot lawn releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing ozone, carbon dioxide and other airborne chemicals.
Myth 2: “The water, fertilizers and other requirements to maintain a healthy lawn are not good for the environment. I’d be better off installing artificial turf and maybe some concrete pavers.”
Reality: “Healthy lawns filter toxins through their root systems. In addition to breaking down pollutants, they stop erosion and runoff into the streets. A healthy lawn absorbs rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field. Lawns also have a proven cooling effect. Eight average front lawns have the same cooling effect as about 70 tons of air conditioning. The average capacity of a home air conditioning unit is only three to four tons. Now contrast all of this with artificial plastic turf or gravel. They don’t filter, don’t stop runoff and they can create “heat islands”. Besides, what kid likes to play in a rock yard?”
Myth 3: “Choosing the right sod variety is confusing. You practically need an advanced degree in botany to understand the features and benefits of each type.”
Reality: “It’s true that turf grasses can vary widely, and until now the decision could be complex. Homeowners had to determine which zone they lived in, or if they live in a “transition zone”, then try to figure out which grass variety best suits their needs. That has changed with the introduction of Harmony turf, which makes it possible to buy premium quality grass that is adapted for your region and your application, sold by a growers’ network that adheres to rigorous Harmony standards. All you need to know is how you want your grass to function. If you have an area that gets high wear, ask for Harmony Play; normal wear is ideal for versatile Harmony Home; and an area that gets low amounts of sunlight requires Harmony Shade. And if you need more next year, you’ll always get the same quality grass variety but with Harmony’s incremental improvements. It will blend right in.”
Myth 4: “To have a beautiful yard, I really need to hire a subcontractor.”
Reality: “Your back yard should represent a simple, easy lifestyle. You shouldn’t have to get your hands dirty or trust your yard to a third party. Harmony can handle everything from measuring your yard, to installing the turf plus the irrigation system and any mulch or stone. It is as easy as ordering new carpet for your home. Starting the process is as easy as going to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, or jumping onto their websites. You can even order your new lawn using your smart phone.”
Myth 5: Raking up the clippings is important to the health of my lawn.
Reality: “Great news! Once you finish mowing, most of the time you can forget about raking! Leave those clippings where they fell. They are filled with nutrients, and can reduce your need to fertilize by as much as 25 percent. Only excessive quantities of grass clippings may cause issues.”
Myth 6: “In today’s economy, I’m better off saving my money than investing it in landscaping.”
Reality: When incorporated into a well-maintained, great-looking landscape design, your lawn can increase your home’s property value by as much as 20 percent.
For additional information, including a place to ask the pros about lawn care problems that have you stumped, visit www.HarmonyBrands.com.